Difference between Formwork, Shuttering, Centering , Staging & Scaffolding

Formwork, Shuttering, Centering , Staging & Scaffolding are all temporary structures arranged on site for specific purposes.
You use these terms Shuttering, Formwork, Centering, Scaffolding frequently. But most of them don’t the considerable difference between them.

In this post, you are going to learn the:

  • Definitions of Formwork, shuttering, staging, centering and scaffolding &
  • Difference between Formwork, Shuttering, Staging, Centering and Scaffolding


It is a temporary structure which is used as a mould to pour the concrete. It is a vertical or horizontal arrangement made to keep concrete in position until it gains strength & shape.

Have you seen the below mentioned shape of column of bridge in the image? Ever wondered how to bring the concrete in such a shape. This all possible by formwork. Firstly, the desired mould is prepared using steel or iron, and then formwork is fixed in position without any gaps to pour the concrete.

formwork of column


It is a part of formwork, or you may call it as derivative of formwork. Shuttering is a vertical temporary arrangement which is arranged to bring concrete in a desired shape.
Formwork which supports vertical arrangement is known as shuttering.

In a technical point of view, Formwork for columns, footings, retaining walls is called as a Shuttering.

circular column shuttering


Centering is a temporary arrangement & part of formwork which is arranged to support horizontal members.
In a technical point of view, the formwork for floor beams & Slabs is called as a Centering.

Centering for Slab


Staging is a temporary member which is used to support formwork (either it may be for centering or shuttering).

It is done by props, jacks, H frames, cup lock system, wooden ballies, etc. (Refer below image for clear understanding)

Staging (props & Supports)


Formwork is arranged to support the structural members, whereas scaffolding is provided as a workers platform around the building to work at heights, Scaffolding is a movable/fixed platform refer below image for more details.

scaffolding for workman

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